Embellishing your Play Mat: Creating a Play Mat - Part 4

Hi everyone! 

Today I am going to share with you some of the ways that I embellish my play mats.  To be honest, the sky's the limit with how you finish your play mat  because creativity is unique and personal.  

I like to think about what inspired me in the first place and also how I think the play mat might be used and by whom.

In this case I was going for a forest and autumn inspired mat and so I will continue on with that in mind.

One of the things I love as I walk through my woods is the little surprising splashes of color that happen as leaves and bushes begin to change.

Using my needle I add simple tiny bits of merino roving.  

Here I was loving the last of my marigolds before the frost.

I needled in some curly mohair locks and added some wool.  The wool is hand sewn on and reinforced on the back with some batting.  In my experience, young learners can be very curious and like to try and pull on bits that stick up!

That's all I added.  It is possible to wet-felt a bit more if you really want those colorful bits to stay on but I have found needling is pretty durable.  I am working in a toy library and am discovering some play mats that I made about 12 years ago and other than some pilling they are in pretty great shape.  I did re-felt one and it come out like new!  So they can endure a lot of handling if felted well in the first place.

While I was taking these pics I realized I need to do one more blog post on ways that you can use your new play mat.  I couldn't resist adding in a few animals right away.

Watch how the small world becomes alive!

Add in nature.  Rocks, wood, leaves, pine cones.  Add peg dolls.  Add movable flowers.

Have fun!  Take time to play!

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